Capitalizing on its chemistry and potential, Sevendust returns to the Sooner State for Rocklahoma

5:15 p.m. Sunday
1421 W. 450, Pryor
$40-$50 single-day tickets
$125-$320 weekend passes

In 2003, Sevendust fans were shocked and heartbroken when guitarist Clint Lowery bowed down to pursue musical ventures with his brother, as the band Dark New Day.

"It was weird," said Morgan Rose, Sevendust drummer. "We knew he wanted to do something with his brother, but I like to tell everyone that he never quit and we never fired him. He just took a hiatus."

While they continued to make music and tour without Lowery, the remaining members of Sevendust all felt there was a giant piece missing from the puzzle "¦ until early 2008, when Lowery returned home to the band, which Rose felt was "inevitable."

"I think we all kind of got our lives together while he was gone, including himself," Rose said. "The time was right to get the five of us back together again. When he came back in, we did our first rehearsal, looked at each other and kind of shrugged our shoulders and said, 'It sounds exactly like it did six years ago. Let's go into the studio.' We were real excited to get in there and cut some stuff with him on it."

The result is the group's brand-new record, "Cold Day Memory," which capitalizes on Sevendust's chemistry and potential. First-week sales gave the band its highest chart position ever, debuting at No. 12 on Billboard's Top 200.

"The making of this album was real emotional," Rose said. "We wear our hearts on our sleeve when we're in that studio, so usually when there's any type of turmoil " which usually it's personal " we end up letting it influence the music a little bit.

"All of these years of writing songs, playing live and going through life's roller coaster has been a learning experience for us. I think we have gotten better as songwriters. We don't have that testosterone of anger so much as we did before. We're more into writing songs now instead of just trying to throw all of the biceps out of everything."

On Sunday, Sevendust returns to Oklahoma as part of the 2010 Rocklahoma festival, taking place in Pryor. The three-day event, which starts Friday, includes many of rock's hottest bands, including Godsmack, Three Days Grace, Buckcherry, Chevelle, Theory of a Deadman and Aranda.

"It's a privilege to be on this gig," Rose said. "We have really fond memories of playing in Oklahoma. We've had some great shows there that we'll never forget. When we did the R.O.A.R. Tour, it was such a dump tour that when we actually did get to Oklahoma, it was one of the better shows."

While life on the road has gotten better for the Atlanta-based band, it has also become more hectic over the years, making the downtime at home the biggest adjustment.

"It takes a little while to get your mind-set out of this lifestyle on the road," Rose said. "It's basically a debilitating life to be out here. You're told to walk to where your clothes are, walk to the stage to do a soundcheck, walk to a meet-and-greet. You're handed a phone with a telephone number to call and do an interview. You're handed a menu and you order your food; your food's brought to you. Your clothes are put in a bag and taken to the laundry, then folded and brought back to you. Your bed's made " all this goes on every day.

"Then you get home and it's like, there's the refrigerator " go make yourself something to eat. Uh, there's the washer and dryer " all you've got to do is throw the clothes in it and put the detergent in there. You kind of scratch your head. When you get home, you have to be a real man. We do what we've got to do, and we take care of our responsibilities, but there's a tad bit of laziness that creeps in there for me! But it's a blessing to be able to do this for a living. I have no complaints at all."

With 13 years of touring and making music under their belts, he said the brotherhood formed with his band members is something that remains unbreakable.

"Everybody picks up where anybody else might lack on any particular day," Rose said. "At any given time, any five of us can be ringleader that day. I could be the one that just wants to lay in a ball and not really do anything, and there's always somebody else " one of the other four " to pick up where I've slacked. That's basically how this band works: It's a unit, and if somebody's lacking, then somebody else is going to pick them up. We trust each other, and it's a really good working environment for us.

"With the exception of a little break that we took for those few years with Clint being gone, we've spent a majority of our lives together on a bus. If we can survive that on a personal level and be brothers through that, then it makes the working part of it a little easier."

  • or